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Canadian scientist develops world's most advanced drug to protect the brain after a stroke
Date:2/29/2012

Toronto, February 29, 2012 - Scientists at the Toronto Western Research Institute (TWRI), Krembil Neuroscience Center, have developed a drug that protects the brain against the damaging effects of a stroke in a lab setting. This drug has been in development for a few years. At this point, it has reached the most advanced stage of development among drugs created to reduce the brain's vulnerability to stroke damage (termed a "neuroprotectant"). Over 1000 attempts to develop such drugs by scientists worldwide have failed to be translated to a stage where they can be used in humans, leaving a major unmet need for stroke treatment. The drug developed by the TWRI team is the first to achieve a neuroprotective effect in the complex brain of primates, in settings that simulate those of human strokes. ischemic stroke.

The study, "Treatment of Stroke with a PSD95 inhibitor in the Gyrencephalic Primate Brain", published online today in Nature, shows how the drug, called a "PSD95 inhibitor" prevents brain cell death and preserves brain function when administered after a stroke has occurred.

"We are closer to having a treatment for stroke than we have ever been before," said Dr. Michael Tymianski, TWRI Senior Scientist and the study's lead author. "Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and we believe that we now have a way to dramatically reduce its damaging effects."

During a stroke, regions of the brain are deprived of blood and oxygen. This causes a complex sequence of chemical reactions in the brain, which can result in neurological impairment or death. The PSD95 inhibitor published by the Toronto team acts to protect the brain by preventing the occurrence of these neurotoxic reactions.

The study used cynomolgus macaques, which bear genetic, anatomic and behaviour similarities to humans, as an ideal model to determine if this therapy would be beneficial in patients.

Animals that were treated wi
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Contact: Nadia Daniell-Colarossi
nadia.daniell-colarossi@uhn.on.ca
416-603-5294
University Health Network
Source:Eurekalert

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